GREEN BAY, WIS. – The American Dairy Coalition (ADC) is urging organizations, as well as dairy farmers, to ask the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to enforce the standards of identity on milk, which would allow only traditional dairy products to be labeled as milk.
The FDA in April reopened the comment period for its draft guidance regarding recommended voluntary nutrient statements for plant-based milk alternatives. The period closes on July 31.
ADC chief executive officer Laurie Fischer called the move to a voluntary statement on non-dairy products labeled as milk “totally inadequate.”
“The FDA draft guidance is business as usual for the companies making imposter products that have enjoyed two decades of non-enforcement and billions of dollars in annual profit at the expense of dairy farmers and consumers while the FDA has looked the other way, ignoring its own standards of identity for milk,” Fischer said.
When first recommending voluntary nutrient statements for alternative milks in February, the FDA said statements should convey how the alternative compares to milk based on fluid milk substitutes nutrient criteria from the US Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service.
Fischer said many in the dairy industry “adamantly disagree” with voluntary nutritional statements on non-dairy milk products.
“Plant-based companies and trade associations, including the American Beverage Association, are supporting and congratulating FDA on its draft guidance, which could mean full speed ahead for fake alternatives to be labeled as ‘milk’ without containing any milk, and it is a total fabrication,” she said.
Comments can be submitted to the FDA via Regulations.gov and identified with the docket number FDA-2023-D-0451.
Said Fischer: “It is long past time for the dairy industry to stand up and take action by providing FDA with your thoughts on the inadequacy of a voluntary nutrition statement on a completely fake mislabeled ‘milk’ imposter.”
She said the ADC is asking the FDA not to cave to the pressure of large global beverage makers.
“We are also calling on the FDA to stop the mislabeling of lab-created ‘fermentation-vat’ proteins that are being advertised to the food industry and to consumers as ‘dairy protein without the cow,’” she added.